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Spring 2021 | Vol 14 | No 1

The 2020–2021 hunting season for wild quail was another great one in the Red Hills and Albany Areas and across the Southeast! Locally, some properties had one of their best seasons on record. Additionally, properties in the Carolinas, Alabama, and Central Florida observed high covey finds for their respective areas, further increasing landowner interest in wild quail hunting opportunities. What facilitated this year’s successes?
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Tall Timbers and the Florida Forest Service have teamed up to deliver a new prescribed fire marketing campaign. Call it public support, social license, or normalization, we all know that keeping community support for prescribed fire is key for protecting and expanding its use.
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The Black Rail is an especially elusive and challenging subject for birders, conservationists, and land managers. This sparrow-sized bird is described as ‘the most secretive bird in North America’, a white whale among feathered beasts because it spends most of its time running underneath thick vegetation in coastal and interior marshes. It acts more like a mouse than a bird, and to make matters worse, rails are crepuscular (become active at twilight), and vocalize primarily after the sun has gone down or a few hours before it rises the following morning.
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The Tall Timbers Burn Team fills a valuable niche that directly aids in the use of fire on private lands. This is a small, well-trained unit that engages, educates and assists landowners to apply more fire on their land. In its first two years, the Team has already worked with hundreds of landowners across thousands of acres in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.
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It’s time to give credit where credit is due. If it were not for conservation-minded private landowners throughout the country, we would have far less wildlife. And that wildlife includes birds.
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Cooperation between Tall Timbers and the National Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Center (PFTC) just took a huge stride forward. PFTC is now located at Tall Timbers. The offices and equipment previously located on the grounds of the Tallahassee Airport have been moved to their new home on the Tall Timbers’ campus.
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On Monday, February 22, 2021, longtime friend of Tall Timbers, Dr. Pamela Hall, passed away succumbing to pancreatic cancer. Pam was a passionate, tireless advocate for protecting rural lands, especially the Leon County portion of the Red Hills. Without a doubt, Pam was the most consequential and effective advocate for protecting rural lands, rural character, and natural resources in Leon County in the last 25 years.
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The effort of several Fire Ecology interns over two years is coming to fruition in a new map of forest community types on Tall Timbers Research Station. Until now, our maps were not much more specific than identifying upland pine forests, hardwood forests associated with low areas, and and open wetlands. Building on data provided by a timber cruise made in the upland pine areas a few years ago, the Fire Ecology Lab extended the area covered by the 1-acre survey points to extend throughout the rest of the property
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Due to the ongoing concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tall Timbers Annual Georgia-Florida Turkey Invitational is postponed to March 2022.
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